Paleontologists from the University of Bath and the Museum of Natural History and Science of New Mexico (USA) have re-examined a fossil discovered more than twenty years ago on the ranch of the famous American TV mogul Ted Turner. The analysis showed that the ancient creature belonged to a previously unknown species of a vast group of horned dinosaurs.
The researchers published their findings in the journal Cretaceous Research, and briefly tells about the discovery Phys.org . We are talking about a partially preserved skeleton and a fragmentary preserved skull, which were discovered at the ranch in the late 1990s.
Initially, the fossil was identified as the remains of a torosaurus. Apparently, it was not of great interest to scientists at that time, since a detailed analysis of the skeleton was carried out only 20 years later. As a result, an important discovery was made.
Paleontologist Sebastian Dahlman and his team, during a re-analysis, found that the remains belong to a representative of an unknown species, unrelated to dinosaurs previously discovered in the northern part of the American continent.
It turned out to be a new species of a group of horned dinosaurs – ceratopsids, which have not yet been found in North America. Scientists say that this creature was a distant relative of the more famous triceratops, a herbivorous dinosaur.
The new species was named Sierraceratops turneri, and it is given in honor of Ted Turner, on whose ranch the fossil was found. According to scientists, this horned dinosaur roamed the territory of the modern American state of New Mexico about 72 million years ago.
He possessed a number of key features that distinguished him from his relatives. In particular, unlike other horned dinosaurs, it possessed short but massive brow arches. The anatomy of the horny bones of this dinosaur was also unique. He had a large skull, about 1.5 meters in length, and the total length of this creature was about 4.5 meters. Like other ceratopsids, it was a herbivorous creature.